NOAA Hollings Scholarship




The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings scholarship is awarded annually to students seeking careers in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology and education, in honor of long-time South Carolina Senator Ernest F. Hollings. Hollings served in Congress for 36 years, where he was instrumental in the creation of NOAA and was an advocate in creating legislation designed to protect the world’s oceans.

The program is designed to...

  1. increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education and foster multidisciplinary training opportunities;
  2. increase public understanding and support for stewardship of the ocean and atmosphere and improve environmental literacy;
  3. recruit and prepare students for public service careers with NOAA and other natural resource and science agencies at the federal, state and local levels of government; and
  4. recruit and prepare students for careers as teachers and educators in oceanic and atmospheric science and to improve scientific and environmental education in the United States.


The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to a maximum of $9,500 per year) for full-time study during the 9-month academic year; a 10-week, full-time internship position ($700/week) during the summer at a NOAA facility; and academic assistance (up to a maximum of $9,500) for full-time study during a second 9-month academic year. The internship between the first and second years of the award provides the Scholars with "hands-on"/ practical educational training experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities. Awards also include travel funds to attend a mandatory NOAA Scholarship Program orientation, conferences where students present a paper or poster, and a housing subsidy for scholars who do not reside at home during the summer internship.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply for the Hollings Scholarship, at the time of application (annually September through January) you must...

  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Be currently enrolled or accepted as a full-time 2nd year student in a four-year undergraduate program or as a full-time 3rd year student in a five-year undergraduate program 
  • Earn and maintain a 3.0 GPA or better;
  • Have and maintain a declared major in a discipline including, but not limited to, oceanic, environmental, biological, and atmospheric sciences, mathematics, engineering, remote sensing technology, physical and social sciences including geography, physics, hydrology, geomatics, or teacher education that support NOAA's programs and mission. Related discipline areas of study may include biological, social, and physical sciences; mathematics; engineering; computer and information sciences; and science teacher education.

Selection criteria

Applications are evaluated by a review panel on the following criteria:

  1. Relevant course work (30%).
  2. Education plan and statement of career interest essay (30%).
  3. Academic recommendations and/or endorsements (reference forms) (20%).
  4. Additional relevant experience related to diversity of education; extracurricular activities; honors and awards; non-academic and volunteer work; interpersonal, written, and oral communications skills (20%).

Application Process

To apply for the Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship, applicants must apply online at: The application is available annually September through January.  

Applicants are required to submit ALL of the following items for an application to be deemed complete and eligible:

  • A completed scholarship application form;
  • One essay;
  • Unofficial college transcript(s) (one for each institution attended; uploaded into the online application); and;
  • Two academic references submitted online by the applicant’s university/college faculty member. References from NOAA employees, family members, staff members of applicant’s academic institutions, or other students/friends will not be accepted. NOAA Education will accept references from NOAA employees ONLY if the employee is also a faculty member at the applicant’s college/university.
NOAA logo


  • General Academic Funding
  • Professional Development
  • Summer Opportunities


  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Public Service
  • STEM

Eligible applicants

  • Second-year Undergrads

Citizenship status

  • US Citizen
  • US Permanent Resident

ASU Nomination required

  • No

For More Information

NOAA Hollings Scholarship Program